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Advisor role in exchanges causes clash

Rep. George Keiser, R-N.D., says his state provided a commission structure for agents. (AP photo/Dale Wetzel)
Rep. George Keiser, R-N.D., says his state provided a commission structure for agents. (AP photo/Dale Wetzel)

The former head of the agency overseeing implementation of the health care reform law disagreed with state officials Friday over the need for insurance agents to be involved in the purchase of health insurance once the exchange system kicks in come January.

“The beauty of the exchange system is that if it works, you don’t have to use an agent,” said Jay Angoff, the first head of Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Department of Health and Human Services in comments at a panel discussion over how the states are faring in implementing the law.

In their comments at the NPC Newsmakers event, Keiser and Kofman agreed.

“We have grave concern in North Dakota about creating thousands of navigators out there that were offering an additional service, such as AARP, Chambers of Commerce, labor unions, who did not understand insurance but were out there giving insurance advice with no ability to control once it got out of the box,” Keiser said. “They have no regulatory authority,” Keiser said.

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Nichole Morford

Nichole Morford
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